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Monday, March 26, 2012

Arise and Shine Forth

Dear Mother,

I saw that you watched the Young Women's General Broadcast! It was a delight! I was elated to hear that many of the same themes were discussed that I spoke about at New Beginnings!

This is the talk that I gave. I had stayed up past 2am writing it, because I knew that Husband needed ample time to translate it. I delivered it in English this time so that the Young Women could hear the proper inflection. Husband served as my translator and read from his translation. I know they like to hear my improving Spanish, but I didn't want that to be the focus. I felt very inspired as I wrote this. When I thought I had finished, I had just laid down in bed when a specific sentence formed in my mind, and I knew I had to go back and include it. This is why I was doubly excited by the messages given in the Young Women's General Broadcast.

Here it is:

Since I am moving soon, I am running out of time to share my testimony with you. As I have pondered and prayed, I have thought about each one of you Young Women, and your hopes, dreams, desires, heartbreaks, and challenges that you each face. This is what Heavenly Father wants you to hear tonight.

H. just sang the most beautiful song, thank you [Worth Waiting For from this year's Jenny Phillips CD]. Some of the lyrics said:” though evil seems like the normal thing, the light inside you, will help you see through the deceit.” And in the second verse: Let the light inside you, flood all the world around you.” Let’s talk about these.

Both lyrics speak of light. Not just any light, but the light inside of you. Doctrine and Covenants115:5 says “Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations” This is our Young Men and Young Women theme scripture for the year. Evil is everywhere. It is in our books, on our televisions, in our schools, governments, on our computers, everywhere. Because it has infiltrated every part of our daily life, sadly many people think that evil is normal and acceptable. We know, it is not, and as the song says, the light inside of us will help us to see through the deceit and know good from evil. We can let this light “flood all the world”. I like that word, “flood”. It’s not just show our light a little, or if we feel like it, or just enough to get the job done, but flood with as much light as possible. If I am trying to reach something from the back of my closet in the morning, I want as much light as possible; otherwise I might pull out mismatched clothes and shoes. Have you ever dressed in the dark before? It is near impossible to know how you are dressed until you get into the light. Did you know that it is impossible for light and dark to be in the same place at the same time? It is also impossible for good and evil to co-exist. Now, what if you dressed in the dark spiritually? Without the light of Christ, or the Holy Ghost, do you think that you will be able to live the standards of the church very easily? Will you be happy if you are living “in spiritual darkness”? I don’t think so. Find the light inside of you and flood the world. I think of a lighthouse that is emitting light from all directions, so that from a far distance everyone can see your “light”.

Now I’ve been talking about this light that is “inside” of you. What do you suppose that means? For me, I think it is talking about your testimony and your ability to have the Spirit with you at all times. In the Book of Mormon, Alma asks “have ye received his image in your countenances?” He is talking about having a mighty change of heart after committing oneself to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You can tell a lot by looking at someone’s face. Happy, sad, etc. You can tell from their countenance if they have charity and are overflowing with the Spirit. We may even feel warm and fuzzy around them. Be that kind of person. Don’t hide your light under a bushel, like the bible says. Matthew 5:16 "Let your light so shine among men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

Arise and shine forth that thy light may be a standard to all nations. This light, this testimony, this Spirit that you have will be a standard to all nations. That’s everyone on earth. Your light, your testimony, your Spirit will be an example to everyone you meet. The best way to be an example is to live the standards that are found in the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet. They are not considered “popular” or “cool” by many people, but they are the standards that will bring light to you and to others. They are the standards that will help your testimony to grow and to stay strong. Clean language, appropriate dress and grooming, gratitude, honesty, sexual purity, Sabbath day observance, and other standards are what will bring you light and happiness into your life. Living these standards will keep you close to the gospel.

Elder Ballard, one of the Twelve Apostles, has said (source), “Thirty years from now the leadership of the Church will largely depend on how well each one of you is prepared to fulfill the calls to serve in the Church that will come to you…. Suppose the Church creates 100 stakes a year. That means by 2040, just 30 years from now, the number of stakes will have doubled to approximately 6,000. You will be in your late 40s…. Now ask yourself—where are the 6,000 stake presidents? Where are their counselors, executive secretaries, clerks?...where are the 60,000 bishops…elders quorum presidents…Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary presidents and counselors, and on and on? Where are they? Elder Ballard says, “You are they!” And I would add, you will be married to those priesthood leaders that will be called. So Elder Ballard asks, “Will you be ready to accept the callings that the Lord will extend to you?” Arise and Shine Forth. Live the standards in the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet. Keep it as a reference guide, and refer to it often.

Living these standards will prepare and keep you worthy to attend the temple and receive your endowment and when the time is right, marry a worthy young priesthood holder.

September 29th is a day that I am looking forward to. Sister B [one of the YW leaders who was baptized in September] can tell us what is so special about September 29th. She has already scheduled that she will be sealed for time and eternity. She has made the goal and now is doing everything she can to prepare. Let her light be an example to each of you. I am going to her sealing, and I still promise that I will go to each of yours. There is nothing that I want more than for you to call me in 5-10 years and say “Sis. Lindsay, It’s me, M, K, J, etc from [location]. Do you remember that one Girl’s Camp? The one where we all committed to get married in the temple? Well, I’m getting married in the temple, and I want you to be there.”

And I cry, and I will come. If weren’t at camp, commit to me now and I will still cry when you call me, and I will come. A temple marriage should be your goal.

Do what you are supposed to do. You know what is right. You know what is wrong. If you feel new to the church and you aren’t sure then complete your Personal Progress, read the standards, come to church and learn. This is a picture of my Grandpa. When he was 19 years old, he served a mission in [location]. He made a righteous choice. He did what he knew he should. He served diligently and completed his assignments. One assignment was to baptize a 15 year old girl that had been tracted into by the sisters so an elder needed to baptize her. The girl was my grandma. [note to Mom: I printed out their wedding picture and when I held it up, I held a piece of paper over Grandma, then for dramatic effect, I whipped it off later to show them in front of the temple. Dumb I know, but they had really wide eyes when I did it, because they totally weren't expecting it :) ] It’s a long story, but they became engaged a few years later when he came back to [location] to work. My grandpa made a righteous choice to serve a mission so he could teach people about Jesus Christ. Do you think he ever thought that one choice would lead him to his eternal companion? This is them being sealed in the [location] temple. Do you think he ever thought that because he served a mission, he met his wife, they had my mom, and my mom had me, and now I’m serving in a Spanish Branch with you lovely people teaching you about the gospel? Did he know in 1953 that he was going to bless you in 2012? No, he had no way of knowing the generations of good that his righteous choice would create.

Each of you is like my Grandpa. You have no way of knowing ALL of the good, of light, that your righteous choices will bring to yourself AND others. Your decisions in 2012 are shaping people’s lives that will be happening in 2040, 2050. We cannot begin to guess what Heavenly Father has planned, but we can prepare because we know that He DOES have a plan. This plan involves His gospel and being the future leaders, His standards, the temple, eternal families and happiness. Each righteous choice that you make will bring an eternity of blessings. Heavenly Father loves you and wants you to live with Him again. He wants you to make righteous choices so that you are happy, so that you are worthy to attend His house, the temple. I testify that it is worth waiting for. He wants you to Arise and Shine Forth and I do too. I love you and leave these messages with you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Love you Mom. Thank you for everything this past week.


It's Complicated

Dear Readers,

I love each and every one of you, and I love it when you send me things to read, or make sure that I know certain resources exist.  I love to share with each one of you my testimony and how I apply Christ's doctrine in my life.

This blog was never meant to be a play-by-play of my life.  It is not my journal.  The original goal was to have a place that would refer readers to the proper information on the internet (i.e.,, or any in the family of websites sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints).  I meticulously made sure to never bring too much emotion into any blog post.  But, as the months evolved (2 year anniversary coming up!), I started to share more application of principles in my life, thereby revealing more and more of my person (thoughts, feelings, what I do) to the bloggy world while still maintaining fierce protection of my privacy.  As I moved from sharing information to sharing testimony, content somehow became entwined with ME.

I want to testify to the whole world of my love for the Savior and His doctrines.  I want everyone to know how I feel about THE plan (Plan of Salvation).  I want you to know that I DO live the standards that Mormons live and I LIKE it.

But, it's complicated.

I have no time to blog, because I'm out serving the Lord (or holding onto the little precious family time that I have).  When I do have time to blog, I have to choose carefully over time restraints, and privacy issues.  I have a lot that I would love to share about my church service and things that I have learned, but it's just not working to share right now.

Now this isn't a break-up, even though it is me, not you :)  I guess I feel like I need to come clean.  I'm trying to be as honest as possible on the blog and write about my REAL life, but when I look back and see my last post is about modesty with my daughter.  I have to laugh.  It was 100% true, and really did happen.  It just represents 5 minutes out of 10 days, and it totally does NOT represent what I did in the last 10 days.

That's all.  It's impossible to give you a chronological mission journal, and I'm really sorry.  I feel like my blog is dis-jointed and jumbly, mainly because I can't really follow up on any thoughts that I share, because my life just moves too fast.  I compose blog posts in my head a lot as I know I have tons of great experiences to share.  Some make it to my drafts folders, and tons do not.  Sometimes I want to share something, but the mere thought of giving the back story just frightens me out of typing, because I learn so much all of the time.  These small snapshots really don't give my testimony justice at the moment.

This was long to say nothing I know, but I just want you to know that I KNOW that there is a discrepancy between the life I really live and what my blog might make it seem like my life is like.

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Modest are the Hottest

Dear Sister,

So it might seem like on a modesty kick, yet the truth is it's just an issue that needs dealt with constantly.  Satan hits us any way he can.

Today's story, however, comes from my OWN house.

This week Daughter woke up and asked to wear the "skull" shirt.  We don't own said skull shirt.  When we were at the store this past weekend, we had bought some clothes for Daughter.  She had seen a shirt with a skull on it.  It was teal background with a silver skull that somehow had pink hearts on top of the silver?  I don't remember too well now, because I didn't know it was going to be a big deal.  Daughter got it off the rack and said she wanted it, and I said something like "I didn't think so."  Apparently not a strong enough "No" that she thought we were going to get it.

So here she is asking for it.  I understand that many people see nothing wrong with a shirt like this, but it just doesn't seem like the type of thing that belongs in my house, on anyone of any age, personal opinion.  I'm not really sure what to do, so I launch into a modesty discussion, because she is repeatedly asking to go back and buy this shirt.

I told her that I didn't think the shirt was modest.  We discussed that modesty means covering up your shoulders, tummy, and thighs.  Then I tell her that just because something covers us doesn't mean that it is modest.  I try to come up with examples, but they all felt lame.  I.E. "Would Heavenly Father want a picture of people fighting on a shirt?"....No, etc.

I finally come up that the shirt was something we call "sassy" and we didn't want to wear anything "sassy".

At this point, she lets out a "hmmmph" and stomps away from me and hides behind the couch, finally understanding we are not going to be wearing the "skull" shirt.

If clothes shopping is a nightmare at 3 how will it be at 13?  If it is this hard to say "No" at 3, how hard will it be to say "No" at 13, and 14, and 15, and 16, and 17, and 18?  If I let it, it really scares me.  How does one raise a righteous and morally clean daughter when they are bombarded with mixed and confusing messages.  It seriously was a scene out of a movie, except the girl would be a teenager, not a little 3 year old.  I had a modesty fight with someone who's not allowed to pour her own milk and sleeps with a teddy bear?!?!?!

I am committed to modesty.  That decision I have made.  Bring on the fights if that is what is what it takes.  I'm ready.

I found THIS Mormonad.  I think that Daughter can understand it, if I explain it, that a rain boot isn't an appropriate choice for dancing.  Mom always had Mormonads.  I never thought it made a difference at the time,  but in hind sight, I can think of several of the ones that she rotated through, so I guess it did.


 It doesn't shock me that I'm having this experience, because I fully expect to have them (complete with stomp-offs).  I'm just baffled that it's happening before she's gone to any type of school and had a lot of media influence either.

Good luck with yours,